2019 Rangers Offseason Brendan Lemieux Tony DeAngelo

Brendan Lemieux and Tony DeAngelo are part of the informal skates

Unsigned RFAs Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux are taking part in the Rangers informal skates prior to training camp. (Larry Brooks)

Training camp begins later this week.

Larry Brooks tweets that talks with both players are continuing but “no progress at this point.”

He notes that Lemieux has been working with Rangers strength consultant Ben Prentiss this summer while DeAngelo joined the informal skates yesterday. (Brooks)

It’s long been believed that both players, RFAs with no arbitration rights, will end up signing one-year deals at or close to their qualifying offers of $874,125.

Jeff Gorton said earlier in the offseason that he did not envision the Rangers needing to make any other salary cap moves to sign the two.

Adam Rotter: I’m a little surprised neither player has signed yet since it’s been more than a month since Kevin Shattenkirk was bought out and the Rangers cap situation for this season really came into focus. It really doesn’t benefit either player to miss a minute of camp so I’d expect both to agree to terms in the next day or two otherwise they will put themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to their roles. Neither can be sent to Hartford without waivers, so it’s almost certain that both will be with the Rangers when they eventually sign but neither are Mitch Marner or Brayden Point and assured of a major role if they miss any of training camp. DeAngelo probably has more of a lock on a bigger role than Lemieux does but Adam Fox could change that.

2019 Rangers Offseason

Rangers announce additions to hockey ops department

8/22/19 | 5:12PM: John Davidson said on Sirius Radio on 8/20, “we have three strong development coaches in Ruutu, Ortmeyer and Glass. Having these guys working with these young players in Canada, Europe, USA, wherever, lets make sure they are on the right path to become the best hockey players they can become. We’ve revamped Hartford and we know our job is to develop these players properly. We have a skills coach, goalie coach, strength and conditioning coaches, three coaches, this is going to be a hands on, go get em attitude.”

8/21/19 | 2:22PM: The Rangers have confirmed that Tanner Glass and Tuomo Ruutu are joining the organization as assistant directors of player development.

From the Rangers release, “Glass and Ruutu will work with Director of Player Development Jed Ortmeyer to assist in the development of Rangers prospects, both on and off the ice. Glass will primarily work with Rangers prospects in North America, while Ruutu will primarily work with Rangers prospects in Europe.”

Chris Morehouse joins the Rangers as their Director of North American scouting after spending seven seasons in Columbus with the last three as the Blue Jackets assistant director of amateur scouting.

Marshall Davidson and Derek Ginnell, both formerly with Columbus join the Rangers as amateur scouts while Steve Konowalchuk will join the Rangers pro scouting staff after spending last season as an amateur scout for the Rangers.

David Cunniff is joining Kris Knoblauch and Gord Murphy as an assistant with Hartford. He has spent the past 17 seasons as an assistant or associate coach in the AHL with the affiliates for the Wild, Devils and Sharks.

Adam Rotter: These additions are where the Rangers can flex their muscles and add scouts or player development people without needing to fall under a salary cap. When John Davidson was hired he spoke about how James Dolan was giving him the green light to add resources and whatever was needed to help the Rangers become winners. There is no reason why the Rangers shouldn’t have the deepest group of scouts, consultants, development coaches, analytics people and such in the league.

2019 Rangers Offseason 2019-20 Rangers Brendan Lemieux Tony DeAngelo

The Rangers don’t feel they need to make any other cap related moves

In an interview with LoHud and USA Today, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton said that he did not anticipate needing to make another move in order to get Brendan Lemieux and Tony DeAngelo signed.

DeAngelo and Lemieux are both RFAs but did not have arbitration rights.

Gorton said that there is nothing stopping the Rangers from signing either player and that they are trying to make deals that work “right now, and for the future.” (LoHud and USA Today)

The Rangers sent both players qualifying offers of $874,125 to retain their rights and while neither player accepted that offer, it’s believed that both will end up signing for around that number.

The Rangers currently have $2.985 million in cap space for a 20 player roster that includes Vitali Kravtsov, Lias Andersson and Boo Nieves and has both Brendan Smith and Matt Beleskey in Hartford.

Adding Lemieux and DeAngelo to that roster, at their qualifying offers, would bring the Rangers to 22 players and $1.23 million in cap space.

Adam Rotter: The Rangers have the leverage in these talks and it’s likely that both will sign one-year deals at around their qualifying offers. That leverage flips though next summer when DeAngelo and Lemieux could have arbitration rights. The issue is that having arbitration rights doesn’t do much good if you don’t perform and both Lemieux and DeAngelo saw players join the Rangers this summer that may eat into their ice-times, roles and potential performance.

Lemieux is on the fourth line until Chris Kreider and/or Vlad Namestnikov are moved and even then he may only top-out as a third-liner. DeAngelo’s minutes, especially on the PP, may get eaten by Jacob Trouba and Adam Fox. Both players are likely looking for multi-year, bridge type of deals but the Rangers are unlikely to have much interest in paying for potential in players that may not get the ice time or roles to match it.

2019 Rangers Offseason 2019-20 Rangers

Where The Hockey News has the Rangers finishing this season

The Hockey News 2019-20 Yearbook has the Rangers finishing sixth in the Metro Division (behind Washington, Carolina, Philly, Islanders and Pitt but ahead of the Devils and Blue Jackets) and missing the playoffs.

Based upon their projections for Henrik Lundqvist (23-21-7) and Alex Georgiev (16-13-5) they have the Rangers finishing with 90 points this season.

The depth chart for the Rangers they have listed is:

LW Center RW Defense
1 Artemi Panarin Mika Zibanejad Kaapo Kakko Jacob Trouba
2 Chris Kreider Ryan Strome Pavel Buchnevich Brady Skjei
3 Vlad Namestnikov Filip Chytil Jesper Fast Tony DeAngelo
4 Brendan Lemieux Brett Howden Vitali Kravtsov Marc Staal
5 Greg McKegg Lias Andersson Boo Nieves Brendan Smith
6 Adam Fox
7 Libor Hajek
8 Yegor Rykov
9 Ryan Lindgren

*Kevin Shattenkirk was ranked 4th on the Rangers defensive depth chart.

Panarin ranked 23rd by The Hockey News in their list of the Top 50 players, with them writing “his elite skill set gives him 90-point potential, if not more.”

Adam Rotter: The goalie numbers add up to 85 total games, not 82, so this isn’t exact but around 39 wins is close to what has been projected for the Rangers based upon the players they have added this summer. 90 points is an improvement over last season but it’s probably somewhere between 8 to 12 points too few to make the playoffs. With how quickly teams are able to go from out of the playoffs to the playoffs, it’s certainly not far fetched for the Rangers to get close to 100 points but they will need the overall team defense to improve on the ice the way it has on paper and for Henrik Lundqvist to be healthy and on his game.

Expectations for the Rangers are certainly higher after adding Panarin and Trouba but three of the other big players they’ve added (Kakko, Kravtsov and Fox) have a combined 0 games in the NHL. Libor Hajek only has 5 more NHL games to his name that that trio, Lias Andersson has only played in just over half a seasons worth of games and Filip Chytil, of 84 career games, doesn’t turn 20 until just before training camp starts. The point is, the Rangers should be better but they are still going to rely on a ton of players that range from having zero NHL experience to just one season, and that is before they, likely, move on from Chris Kreider and Vlad Namestnikov. The best hope for this season is a return to the playoffs, but the second best scenario, and possibly the most likely scenario, sees the Rangers around .500 or below for the first half of the year but then finishing strong, with all the young players gaining more experience, and making it known that the 2020-21 Rangers are going to be playoff bound.

2019 Rangers Offseason Chris Kreider Chris Kreider Trade Rumors

The Rangers expect Chris Kreider to be at training camp

Rangers President John Davidson and GM Jeff Gorton both said that they expect Chris Kreider to be with the Rangers when training camp starts next month. (

Davidson said that things can change but that Kreider is a “valued member” of the Rangers and Gorton said that the hope is that Kreider will help the Rangers win games this season. (

Gorton said that Kreider’s experience and ability to produce offensively, while taking some pressure off of younger players, is part of what makes him “important” to the Rangers. (

Kreider is a pending UFA and has been a main topic this summer.

Adam Rotter: As of right now the Rangers expect Kreider to be in training camp come September because he is still under contract but they are also trying to build back their leverage in potential trade talks. Now that Kevin Shattenkirk has been bought out the Rangers don’t need to clear any cap space and aren’t dealing from a position of weakness in trade talks. The Rangers can certainly go to camp with Chris Kreider and even hold onto him all season but it still seems, more likely than not, that Kreider won’t finish the 2019-20 season with the Rangers. There is still a chance he doesn’t start the 2019-20 season with the Rangers but teams around the league are dealing with cap issues and many aren’t willing to trade what they might at the deadline for Kreider because they don’t know how their season will play out.

Could the Rangers ultimately find a way to extend Kreider? Yes, but it will be an incredibly tight squeeze against the cap again next summer before a ton of space opens up following the 2021 season. In that scenario Ryan Strome has to go at some point, Brendan Smith is likely bought out, and depending on future contracts for Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux, Jesper Fast might have to go as well. That is only looking short-term though with the long-term view of a Kreider extension possibly impacting who the Rangers make available for Seattle in the expansion draft, if Kreider has a no-move clause, and how much his cap hit takes up when all of the young Rangers are due new contracts.

Ultimately, I just think it’s a risky move for the Rangers to have Kreider come to camp if they don’t see him as part of the long-term plan. Best case scenario he is able to play like Kevin Hayes did this past season but there is every reason to think Kreider could look more like Mats Zuccarello did for most of the year, before getting it together, and lowering his value. It’s not an easy situation for Jeff Gorton and John Davidson as the Rangers are a much better team this season with Kreider on the roster but they need to figure out whether his value is higher with the team or being traded.

2019 Rangers Offseason

What is next for the Rangers after buying out Shattenkirk

Following the Rangers buyout of Kevin Shattenkirk, the Rangers have $1.9 million in cap space with a 21 player roster that includes Brendan Smith and still has to sign Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux.

If both DeAngelo and Lemieux sign for their qualifying offers of $874,125 the Rangers would have a 23 player roster that has $161,951 in cap space.

Putting Smith in Hartford would give the Rangers a total of $1.236 million in cap space.

Pending UFAs heading into this season include Chris Kreider ($4.625 million), Vlad Namestnikov ($4 million), Jesper Fast ($1.85 million) and Ryan Strome is a pending RFA ($3.1 million).

Adam Rotter: Buying out Kevin Shattenkirk allowed the Rangers to become cap compliant and thus they don’t need to make any other moves or trade from a position of low leverage and weakness. Will there be other moves made, outside of the DeAngelo and Lemieux signings? Probably, with the most likely being trades of Vlad Namestnikov or Chris Kreider. The Rangers don’t need to trade either but it’s extremely unlikely that both are with the Rangers past the trade deadline and in Kreider’s case, I think it makes sense to move him prior to the season.

Outside of Kreider deciding to stay with the Rangers for around the same salary he is currently at, it’s unlikely they will be able to match what he can get as a UFA next summer. The Rangers want to compete for a playoff spot this season but they are not yet in a position to keep pending UFAs to try and make a run like they did with Keith Yandle in 2016. Once the Rangers start training camp the focus will be on adding players, not subtracting them and certainly not subtracting core guys, like Kreider, for a third straight season. I don’t think the Rangers are stoked about the idea of moving Kreider but he’s an asset and if he’s not going to be with the Rangers long-term he should be moved now to prevent any injury or potentially diminishing his value.